The following article was written by Kelly Drouillard, general manager of Live Oak Bank’s insurance lending team and Becky Lathrop, certified insurance counselor and certified professional insurance agent.
Many agents can effectively grow their agencies with a straightforward system of re-quoting previously quoted, old or dead quotes at the next expiration date. This is a great way to get a newly-licensed CSR or producer a volume of activity right away and to teach them the markets. As they work through the stack of “warm leads,” the new producers will master the process with repetition.
If you captured the quote in your management system correctly the first time around, you have already done the work and have a head start. The information you used to quote the policy a year ago should be easily accessible to requote again this year. If you didn’t win the business, hopefully, you asked the prospect which agency or carrier won the account. With an expiration date and last year’s data, you’ve got an advantage on quoting this year’s policy.
To be effective, you must have a system:
- Follow up quickly on quotes you don’t win. Most prospects will tell you which agency they decided to use. Get as much information as you can to see the reason you did not win the business the first time: is it rate, limits, other coverage, or all the above? Whatever the reason, you will be more prepared to win the business at the next or future renewal period.
- Save prior quotes, archive the data and most importantly, mark the expiration date.
- Either the agency, CSR, or producer needs to establish a “tickler” system of expiration dates. There needs to be a routine weekly list about 90 days out to drive the process each year.
- Create a pre-call/contact process 90 days ahead of the expiration date. Call the prospect to update the data you collected the prior year. Share success stories with the prospect about how you have saved others money or offered improved coverage. This is another touch and branding opportunity.
- Prepare a quote in advance if possible, but if not, be prepared to provide that quote during your next conversation.
With the refreshed information, you are equipped to re-quote and win! If for some reason you don’t get the business on this second attempt, put it back into your system to try again. Statistics show that if you quote the same prospect multiple times (between 5–12), you have about an 80 percent chance of eventually winning that business! Set goals of policy count or premium dollars, certain carrier volume, etc. Create an incentive program to reward employees for hitting targets. Make it fun. It truly is fun to win business!
This data will also help you in approaching new markets, seeking improved commission or better profit sharing. With an archived quote bank, a systematic process, and a competitive market, you can present a compelling business plan to a carrier.
If the volume in your quote bank is overwhelming or time is limited, prioritize where you can be most successful. Focus your energy where you are most competitive–a line of business, coverage A amount, a particular zip code, the type of business, etc. And always be “professionally persistent!”
If you haven’t been capturing and saving quotes, the best time to start is today. Your current agency management system likely has the capability. Check with the vendor to determine the best way to set up this system.